Thursday, 19 April 2018

Blue skies smilin' at me.

 Nothin' but blue skies do I see.
 

 
 Real tulips from Amsterdam.
The prison bars are rough horsetail, a native UK wild flower and cousin of the Equisetum that can be a real plague but this one isn't as prolific.  This one has an exceptional ecobunny pedigree, having been given to me by the county ecologist years ago.
 
 Lawn reclamation begins.  We have raked, mown, hollow tined and brushed in sharp sand. 
Now we wait for a bit and then the reseeding begins. 
After some thought we're not sure if we will pave between the veggie beds - watch this space.....
 
There is a cat in this picture - honest.
 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Finally...

Spring is here!
 
Dutch tulips are blooming.

 Wild Garlic.
 
 Heavenly snakeshead fritillary
 
 The magnolia has flowered in anticipation of some bees or butterflies - fingers crossed.
 

Positively Japanese inspired blossom
 

 Tomatoes and peppers planted up
 
Vegetable seeds planted
 
 A beautiful relic of summer past
 
This is the sad state of the grass between the veggie beds after a winter of rain and snow so we have bitten the bullet and have plans involving bricks or pavers - cost will probably dictate which; the rest of the lawn will be hollow tined, scarified and dressed with loads of sharp sand and seeded. 
We may even cut down the large yellow conifer just beyond the second bed on the right as it is getting far too big for the garden.  We inherited it when we moved in and on reflection it was a mistake to keep it as it's slowly creeping across the lawn.  I'm hoping to plant a flowering currant and a ceanothus in its place, under planted with spring bulbs - much better for the bees.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Raindrops keep falling ....

Well the weather is finally warming up but the rain continues unabated.
After two days of being stuck indoors I girded my loins and waterproof (ish) coat and went for a walk.  Miraculously the rain stopped for a while and I took some photos to try and wring out some small moments of beauty amongst the dampness.

 The picture sadly can't convey the gorgeous aroma of this blossom - delicious.
 
 This handsome fellow was trotting around in the middle of the road, obviously realising we all needed the visual boost of his beautiful plumage on this rainy day.
 
 
The rain had started again but left a field of diamonds on this hedge.
 
It all helped distract from the fact that the garden is a swamp and nothing has been done in the greenhouse yet for fear of plummeting temperatures and trench foot from wading through aforesaid swamp.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Food God

As Winter makes yet another bid to return from it's temporal exile, the day saw blue skies interspersed with brass coloured clouds and hefty flurries of the white stuff which refused to settle; this was accompanied by freezing temperatures and Baltic winds just this side of gale strength. Brrr.
 
Jean-Luc decided this was perfect weather for staying inside and cooking - hooray!
And so we now have about 11 or 12 meals lodging in the fridge and freezer; including, shepherds pie, chicken, mushroom and leek pie, a quiche, fiery Goan curry, John Torrodes turkey meatballs with a lime pickle sauce (honestly it's delicious served with papardelle or tagliatelle), Bolognese sauce, Thai green curry and a Kerala coconut curry.
 
 
It's meal planning without having to be tied to a particular dish on a particular day and gives us loads of flexibility if plans change.
 
Convenience food at its best - homemade with fresh ingredients just waiting for us to eat it.
 
Delicious!
 


Friday, 16 March 2018

The Garden

I long to write a post on the garden, about my endeavours out there and the joy it brings; alas the weather has been truly bloody awful for much of the winter and the only time the garden is remotely dry enough to work in is when it's frozen solid.
 
The lawn is so wet we have a transitory pond and I believe crocodiles once again inhabit the bamboo - makes a change from the cat ambushing me from it.
 
I have done some weeding, pruning of the fruit bed and tidied the greenhouse but none of these make pretty pictures; in fact the only pictures would be of empty pots on shelves and sad looking plants sticking up out of mud.
 
This year we will be mostly addressing the drainage issue or by all the small gods I will dig a pond in the middle of the lawn!
 
Until summer arrives I will leave you with  pictures of past glories we can only now dream about.
 



 
Look colour!
 



Thursday, 15 March 2018

Domestic Goddess

It's cold and wet (again) outside so I have channelled my own and Nigella's domestic goddesshood and ta da!
 
 
 Stilton cheese scones...
 
..... Limoncello
 
Both homemade and both delicious.
 
Sadly exhausted by all this smiling domestic loveliness, my goddess ness has baulked at the idea of scrubbing out the shower and I am taking my coffee to curl up with the cat and do some quilting.
Well the doctors do say too much of a good thing is bad for us.....


Friday, 9 March 2018

Obsession

When does a hobby become an obsession?
 
 
Possibly when you start to take your secret crochet project down the pub but still refuse to tell people what you're making......
 
 
...or when you are inspired to have a clothes clear out so you can start making t-shirt yarn.....
 
...or when you look back over the last month and realise just how many days you decided 'oh it's much too miserable to go out/ garden/ do housework; I'll just stoke the fire up and do some crochet/ quilting'.